A small group of people gathered around the open coffin. Only a few individuals attended the funeral. The number of attendees could easily be counted using just two hands. Nearby in a parking area, two guys sat in a car, eagerly anticipating their chance to bid farewell to the deceased.
As the last person left the cemetery, they emerged from the car. The deceased’s sister hurriedly announced that everything was prepared for the commemorative gathering at the house. She extended an invitation to everyone for a funeral meal. Some women insisted on waiting until the coffin was lowered into the grave before tossing a handful of soil.
Kaylee wept and shifted uneasily in her spot. She didn’t want people to notice that she had agreed to participate in some experiment, yet it wouldn’t be appropriate to ask everyone to leave the cemetery. She needed to explain the role of the two young men with the coffin. Their task was to install a camera inside the deceased’s coffin.
The woman felt uneasy about revealing that she intended to profit from her deceased brother, so she kept quiet about the financial reward. The young scientist who installed the camera clarified that this was for a scientific study, and everyone supported the sister’s decision to assist in the name of science. No one condemned her for it.
All preparations were complete; the lid had been placed. Once the camera setup was finished, one of the guys gave a command. With her hand covering her mouth, the sister watched as they secured the lid with two screws and lowered the coffin into the grave using ropes.
After wiping her tears away, she scooped up a handful of soil. “I’m sorry,” a woman said, placing a hand on her shoulder. Kaylee looked at her with confusion; she didn’t recognize anyone here and hadn’t interacted much with her brother. She was certain of only one thing: he didn’t have a family or a close relationship with any woman.
Soon, the grave was filled with soil. The woman who had initiated the act of placing soil into the grave stayed near Kaylee, sharing memories of Nicholas. The deceased’s sister listened to the elderly lady’s words with a sense of obligation.
What made her assume I’d be interested in these stories? My brother was seven years older; we didn’t share common interests. If not for his sudden passing, I wouldn’t have delved into his life any further. At present, Kaylee’s thoughts were focused on something different – hosting these few acquaintances and returning to her daily life.
However, the persistent woman shed light on her brother in certain ways. “My brother was truly good-hearted; he left all his property to a nursing home,” she stated. This statement somewhat irked Kaylee, considering she had to arrange the funeral, gather all the documents, and coordinate a commemoration. And now, the nursing home was taking possession of her brother’s house and would be financially well-off.
The elderly woman wasn’t pleased that all these responsibilities fell on her shoulders, but she still managed to gain something from her brother on the day of his passing. She had visited Nicholas and found him sleeping on the couch. Later, she realized he wasn’t breathing. She accompanied him to the hospital because she wasn’t sure what people normally did in such situations.
Doctors indicated that an autopsy would be conducted to ascertain the cause of death. Kaylee was religious and requested that the procedure be skipped, but she was informed that regulations couldn’t be bypassed. If the deceased hadn’t suffered from any illnesses, an autopsy was mandatory. The sister recalled her brother complaining about his heart.
They discovered that the man did indeed have heart issues, but only a pathologist could definitively determine the cause of death. The elderly woman had no choice but to consent, yet the two young men helped. Apparently, they had been searching for volunteers willing to participate in an experiment for several days. Since they couldn’t conduct experiments on deceased bodies without family consent, they required the relatives’ approval. Until now, there had been no volunteers, making the sister and brother the perfect candidates.
Kaylee reluctantly informed them that a pathologist would soon handle her brother. However, these young scientists managed to convince the doctors that an autopsy wasn’t necessary. After discussing the deceased’s diagnosis, they concluded that his death was indeed due to heart-related issues. The elderly woman was relieved that her brother’s body wouldn’t undergo further examination.
She believed that if he could express his opinion, he would also prefer an intact burial. Her conscience still troubled her. She had allowed a video camera in the coffin, but she hadn’t violated God’s commandments. She couldn’t bring her brother back, but the extra money wouldn’t hurt anyone. Of course, it was the reward that led her to accept the offer. The compensation for participating in this experiment was substantial, so with her brother’s passing, her life saw not only sorrow but also joy.
On the same day the cameras were placed in the coffin, she received a ten-thousand-dollar transfer. Kaylee remained skeptical until the end that the experimenters would keep their promise and provide her with a reward so promptly. This gift brought her much joy, especially after learning at the funeral that her brother had given his money to some unrelated elderly individuals.
It turned out that there was a reason she disliked the talkative woman at the funeral. The woman worked at a nursing home, as Kaylee suspected. She likely tried to get close to her solitary brother with the intention of acquiring his house.
While she had known about the house’s construction earlier, she hadn’t been concerned about it. She hadn’t considered it before, and now there was no reason to be upset. In life, there were gains and losses. Dealing with the scientists turned out to be even more beneficial. Let the strange lady take possession of Nicholas’s house; the experiment Kaylee agreed to was straightforward.
She had no interest in the results; they were too unpleasant. The scientists’ task was to observe the body’s decomposition. The camera’s battery would last approximately a year, and it wouldn’t record continuously. Instead, it would activate once a day for one minute, precisely at 11:00 PM.
The camera would capture the scene and then turn off. These were the details the scientists provided her. She regarded this as nonsense that wouldn’t benefit anyone but herself. It would improve her living conditions and allow her to go on a cruise. Although she was under 60 years old, she had every right to dream as a woman.
After the funeral, Kaylee returned home. She could easily put her brother out of her mind. Fortunately, they hadn’t been close, and she wouldn’t mourn him greatly. The scientists were tasked with observing her brother for a year. The most interesting part would be when all the data was collected, but for now, they needed to confirm that everything was functioning properly.
The two young men impatiently awaited the camera’s activation to ensure its proper setup. The hour was late, and they were eager to return home as soon as possible. However, on the first day, they witnessed something unusual. They replayed the one-minute tape multiple times to ensure they weren’t mistaken. They discussed the video, attempting to find a logical explanation.
The body could have shifted as it was lowered into the coffin or when the lid was closed. There were limited possibilities, and neither of them could explain why the body didn’t resemble its appearance at the funeral. The hands were at the head, and the body itself was contorted, as if the man had been trying to escape the coffin.
The guys no longer considered heading home; they decided to visit the cemetery and exhume the grave. They carried out the operation independently, as obtaining permission for excavation would likely take time, and if their assumptions were correct, time was of the essence.
Their decision proved accurate; the man inside the coffin was alive. Nicholas required medical assistance, but overall, the guys managed to rescue him just in time. A little longer, and he might not have survived. The formerly deceased man recounted his near-death experience; it was his sister who had attempted to poison him.
On that day, she had visited him and broached the topic of diamonds. Kaylee was Nicholas’s half-sister; when she was 18, their father had married a woman with a child. The half-sister was 11 at the time, an eccentric child who envied her mother and frequently threw tantrums. The father dismissed her misbehavior because of his love for his wife.
Nicholas eventually moved out and never became close with Kaylee. Their father was affluent, with a peculiar passion for collecting diamonds. He bequeathed his collection to his son, a decision Nicholas deemed fair. Moreover, he hadn’t excluded his sister; she inherited the apartment. The father’s wife had passed away earlier.
The father’s death occurred six years prior; a year later, Kaylee began attempting to establish a relationship with her half-brother. Nicholas believed that the elderly woman was seeking closeness with her half-brother in her old age to alleviate her loneliness. Little did he know, Kaylee had ulterior motives.
She began discussing diamonds with him, and he eventually caught on. The half-sister, who had been a troublesome teenager, transformed into a money-seeking older woman. For five years, she had pressured him, demanding an equal share of the inheritance. Why would a solitary elderly man need such wealth? His only hobby was fishing, and his pension sufficed for his needs. Nicholas didn’t take her seriously; he laughed, teasing her with remarks like, “Why do you need diamonds at your age? Planning to travel?”
His sister didn’t bother him too much; her visits were infrequent, focused on the diamond matter. He never believed she would do something sinister. However, on the evening in question, when she supposedly discovered his body, her true intentions were exposed.
That evening, she visited him, resumed her talk about diamonds, and suggested he share them willingly. They had tea together; Nicholas, as usual, was joking around. Gradually, he felt himself falling asleep.
His sister assisted him onto the couch, and he couldn’t keep his eyes open. In his half-conscious state, he saw Kaylee searching around the room. He realized she had put something in his tea. He hadn’t anticipated her ransacking his house and certainly didn’t suspect she wanted to kill him. Yet, he woke up in a coffin; apparently, his sister had gone overboard with sleeping pills. Despite his existing heart problems, he miraculously survived, though it was a close call.
Kaylee hadn’t meant to kill him; her intention was to find the diamonds and take them while he slept. Given his nature, Nicholas wouldn’t have involved the police, and even if he had, she would have denied any wrongdoing. However, she didn’t discover any jewelry in the house. She attempted to awaken her brother to coerce a confession regarding the diamonds’ whereabouts, but he showed no signs of life.
Thus, she devised her plan – she cleared the cups to hide any evidence of their shared tea, then declared she found her brother’s body upon entering his unlocked home. Though she gained nothing from this deceit, no one suspected foul play. And then the scientists appeared, offering her a chance to profit from her brother’s passing, providing a monetary reward in exchange for her participation in their experiment.
The elderly woman sat at home, envisioning her luxurious cruise. However, her surprise was palpable when the doorbell rang, revealing her supposedly deceased brother accompanied by police officers. The sister never fathomed her brother was alive, and her attempt to profit from his death had ironically saved his life.
While Kaylee needed to face consequences for her actions, at Nicholas’s insistence, she received a lenient sentence. Nicholas didn’t possess diamonds; he hadn’t needed them for years and had generously donated them to support children with cancer.
It was regrettable that his sister had to spend time in a prison cell due to her greed instead of embarking on the desired cruise. Nonetheless, the lesson was clear – greed led to no good outcomes. It’s better to have little earned through honest means than to covet others’ possessions. Nicholas continued enjoying his fishing, baffled by the desire for distant resorts when there were so many splendid places nearby.
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